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The Ducks' Saku Koivu reflects on his days in Montreal

March 7, 2010 |  3:40 pm

Saku Saku Koivu, the former longtime captain of the Montreal Canadiens, met with reporters before the Ducks' game against the Canadiens on Sunday, his first against the team he was with for 13 seasons.

"It's going to be a different feeling to see the 'CH' on the other side and play against them," he said.

Koivu called the transition to Anaheim this season "a bit of a shock" and an adjustment that took longer than he expected. He also reflected on the vast difference in the hockey culture in Montreal and Anaheim.

"First of all, the pressure and expectations here come from inside of the team and management," Koivu said. "Obviously, here the expectations from the city and people are a bit different than I'd been used to in Montreal."

He is an understated fellow, isn't he?

Koivu is much beloved in Montreal, in part because of people's admiration for his return after overcoming non-Hodgkins lymphoma. But he also told a crowd of reporters primarily from Montreal that he appreciates his anonymity in Orange County.

"It was a refreshing feeling to be able to go out to dinner or down to the beach with the kids and I didn't have to explain why we lost the night before," he said, adding that is part of what makes Montreal "unique."

"The great memories and experiences stay with us," he said.

-- Robyn Norwood

Photo: Saku Koivu, left, tries to control the puck as Montreal's Josh Gorges defends during Sunday's game. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Associated Press